New Code of Civil Procedure: moving towards kinder, gentler legal warfare?

Nov 10th, 2014

By Paul Déry-Goldberg

A new Code of Civil Procedure is scheduled to come into force in the fall 2015. The New Code follows a trend of recent amendments designed in large part to curb what have been considered by many as procedural abuses that have hampered the Court’s ability to fulfill its essential role in our civil society.

True to the maxim “justice delayed is justice denied”, the New Code of Civil Procedure will place greater emphasis on alternative dispute resolution processes such as mediation, arbitration and conciliation.

In the event that parties prefer to forego the amicable dispute resolution processes provided for in the New Code in favor of the traditional oppositional court battle, judges will have even greater powers to ensure that the principles of procedural proportionality are respected by the parties.

In plain English, what this means is that judges will have more power to sanction parties who have declared procedural warfare on their opposition. This could mean that the “See you in Court” approach to dispute resolution will simply not be tolerated by the judiciary and the bulldog litigators who practice attrition tactics will find that judges have more options in their toolbox to deal with their abuses of due process.

If you are involved in litigation with opposition hell-bent on causing unjustified delays and multiplying the costs of the proceedings, speak to your lawyer about finding inspiration in the New Code of Civil Procedure to counter these abuses.

Even though the New Code has not yet been come into force, you might already find a sympathetic judge who will be receptive to any solutions provided for in the New Code (which are not fundamentally different from the current Code) to help you deal with the bulldog across the room.

Paul Dery-Golberg is a litigation lawyer at Spiegel Sohmer who focuses his practice on commercial and civil litigation.